Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

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Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby earthmaiden » July 28th, 2017, 3:10 pm

In my limited experience of cooking and being served Sunday roasts, the meat has usually been served in fairly thin slices. Pot roasts and that kind of dish sometimes in thicker slices.

A couple of years ago I spent Christmas with DS and he served roast beef cut in very thick slices - well over 1/4" thick. I didn't say anything and no-one else seemed to raise an eyebrow. Since then I have been served meat of a similar thickness for pub Sunday lunches, last weekend's lamb being the last time. I then noticed a TV chef yesterday cutting a pork pot roast into very thick slices.

I have searched Mrs Beeton and other books and looked online. The only sensible piece I could find on carving thicknesses was this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-dri ... arve-beef/ . They suggest 3mm (1/8") for slices which hold together for beef, that sounds about right to me and a bit thicker for lamb, pork, chicken etc.

I really dislike meat cut thickly. I assumed that unless it was a pot roast it was 'wrong' but it doesn't seem to be any more. I wonder if the tradition for thinner slices was just to eke out expensive meat or whether it was designed carefully for the flavour and textural experience in the mouth - I feel it makes a huge difference to the latter.

What do you like and do you think it goes in trends?
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Suelle » July 28th, 2017, 4:18 pm

My mother used to carve meat thinly, so that a little went a long way. Now that meat is relatively cheaper, there's no need to be sparing. I like fairly thick slices of hot roast meat, although I carve cold roast beef quite thinly.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Luca » July 28th, 2017, 4:31 pm

Personally I prefer my roasts to be thinly sliced, especially roast beef. I don't mind if a pot roast is sliced a little bit more thickly but still no large slabs of meat.... I reserve my steaks for that!
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby StokeySue » July 28th, 2017, 4:57 pm

Old cook books used to suggest carving beef thinly, other roasts less so
Personally I slice cold cuts thinner than hit roasts, partly because they are easier to cut as they firm up

I suspect that pubs and carveries, which these days tend to use rolled joints, like thicker slices because they don't disintegrate and look messy, and also so two slices is a standard portion for their convenience
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby TeresaFoodie » July 28th, 2017, 5:45 pm

The thinner the better if the carver has the skill! I don't eat much meat but when I do i like to be able to see what I am dealing with.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby earthmaiden » July 29th, 2017, 9:26 am

Interesting, maybe it does have something to do with convenience in pubs and carveries which then gets passed down for everyday occurrence. Maybe some people just like it and cut thickly because they can afford it nowadays. I would be interested to know if there was an etiquette amongst what I'll unkindly call the food snobs - they are sometimes people who do things for a good reason as well as just to be trendy and awkward.

When we had lamb served over 1/4" thick last Sunday it was quite hard to cut and chew. It was nice local lamb and I felt that if it had been sliced more thinly it would have been easier to cut and more pleasant in the mouth. I am definitely a fan of thinner slices and agree with Luca that slabs of meat are better suited for a different kind of meal!
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby northleedsbhoy » July 29th, 2017, 9:53 am

Never given it much thought really but as a general rule thick for hot and thin for cold in a sandwich. Exception being cold carved ham in a salad or for ham egg and chips which needs to be cut thick.

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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby suffolk » July 29th, 2017, 10:05 am

I remember one Sunday roast in a pub a couple of years ago ... I chose beef which I love but I was sadly disappointed ... from the shape of the slices it looked like top rump ... the slices were really chunky, about as thick as my little finger ... almost like a steak ... it was difficult to cut and difficult to chew and not enjoyable ... it was a treat from a friend who knew the owner so I kept quiet but had we been on our own I'd have sent it back and asked to have it carved properly.
I sometimes wonder whether those carving the meat know how to sharpen knives and carve a joint properly ... it does seem to be a dying art.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby earthmaiden » July 29th, 2017, 10:29 am

:) :) :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu:
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Busybee » July 29th, 2017, 11:43 am

suffolk wrote:I sometimes wonder whether those carving the meat know how to sharpen knives and carve a joint properly ... it does seem to be a dying art.


I'm sure you a right, my OH really doesn't know how to carve, despite my Dad trying his best to subtly advise him. I have tried in vane to find a carving course. I think there could be demand but I suppose it would be quite costly to run as you would get through a lot of joints of meat.

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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby suffolk » July 29th, 2017, 12:04 pm

Pa had been taught by his father, and he taught my brother ... I watched and learned ... but we were a farming family with all the traditions that go along with that. OH's family seems not to have had those traditions and he's happy to leave the carving to me.

There are courses out there,a bit like Finishing School for lads but they're expensive, and there are loads of instructive videos online ... if someone looks at the joint they'll be eating and then checks out online how to carve that cut of meat, as long as they have a sharp carving knife and a proper fork with a guard, and a decent board to carve on it they should get the hang of it.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Ratatouille » July 29th, 2017, 12:29 pm

I always carve in our house Mr Rats was never taught how despite being willed a very old carving set :lol: :lol: My Dad always carved.

I just can't eat great slabs of any meat especially rare roast beef which I do enjoy if I can get it. Lamb less vital but pork and ham i also prefer thin.

I honestly can't remember the last time I ate at a carvery type place but I know I used to avoid them like the plague, all those overcooked vegetables, grey meat and packet gravy and stuffing not to mention the sachets of mustard and ketchup. I imagine that, at least in some places things have improved.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby suffolk » July 29th, 2017, 1:18 pm

http://daylesford.com/cookeryschool/eve ... y-carving/

https://blog.mrandmrssmith.com/browns-h ... ving-class

http://www.thefield.co.uk/food/cookery/ ... ives-22350

A great present for an 18/21 year old if they aspire to eventually being able to afford a piece of meat large enough to need real carving skills :D
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby liketocook » July 29th, 2017, 5:12 pm

Apart from ham which I like thick cut (hot or cold), thin slices for me please. I'm a reasonable carver but not as good as either of my sons one who was a chef and the other was a kitchen assistant who is also a keen fisherman. I'd love to be able to do proper butchery and take great pleasure in boning out my turkey at Christmas time :D .
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Zosherooney » July 29th, 2017, 5:49 pm

For us, it depends on the meat, the size of the joint and either hot or cold. When we had the 2+ kilo pork joint the other week Mr. Z carved it, but he is no expert and we had slices of about a third of an inch, hot. If having it cold in a roll I sometimes cut the roll into 3 and have a 'club' roll i.e. two layers of meat with apple sauce.....Mmmm with some mustard as well. :chops:

I do like lamb in chunks rather than slices, beef I prefer in thinner slices, nothing worse than a mouthful of tough beef that just won't break up enough to swallow.

I too like ham or gammon thicker nothing worse than a 'wet' slice of see through ham :sprout: I abhor this wafer thin mass produced stuff that seems to have come from across the pond. We get some wonderful local ham here in Wiltshire.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby suffolk » July 29th, 2017, 8:27 pm

But your pork the other day was Dutch wasn't it? I only ever buy British bred, reared and processed meat. ;)
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Zosherooney » July 29th, 2017, 9:48 pm

TBH Suff, when I bought it, I did not look where it had come from. I have bought British pork and been very disappointed with it, very white, tasteless and dry (even cooked in a sauce). My mates home grown pork is fed on windfalls etc and the meat is not white but off white but moist and very tasty. The only other (recent) similar meat was homegrown farm reared pork in Greece.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby PatsyMFagan » July 30th, 2017, 10:15 am

suffolk wrote:But your pork the other day was Dutch wasn't it? I only ever buy British bred, reared and processed meat. ;)


I wouldn't buy pork of any description from Holland .. but don't want to get into and ethics argument here ;)
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Busybee » July 30th, 2017, 12:56 pm

I'm very lucky to live near a country butcher.............conversations regarding place of origin mainly focus on which local farm the beast came off, we have definite favourites ;) I have wondered if we will get to the stage of which field! I witnessed an almost heated argument about whether a steak could justifiably be described as coming from x village when farmer x also rents fields in another village.

It's quite usual to see on pub menus both the farmer and sometimes butcher names. Probably doesn't mean anything to tourists but for locals it points you in the right direction if you are concerned about the provenance of your food.

Back to carving.......i notice in one of the articles that Suffs posted that Mark Hix advocates thick slices of meat as it gives a broader flavour profile.

I prefer thickish slices of hot meat, thinner cold.

This thread has inspired me to track down a carving course for OH.

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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby suffolk » July 30th, 2017, 1:00 pm

But how thick is thick? Pa used to carve cold rare roasted beef so thinly that you could almost see through it :chops: ... hot beef he carved thicker ... but not the 1cm+ that the beef I mentioned was carved :(
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby earthmaiden » July 30th, 2017, 4:10 pm

I too noticed the comments from Mark Hix in the link. I quite agree Suffs, just saying 'thick' gives us no clue how thick he means so we are none the wiser :rolleyes: .
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Ratatouille » July 31st, 2017, 9:16 am

I cooked a rolled pork loin piece yesterday and cut it hot about the thickness of the thin knife blade and it was lovely. I'll serve some of the rest cold tonight and probably cut it even thinner to serve with pickles, chutneys, some sauteed potatoes and salad .
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Kavey » August 2nd, 2017, 6:08 am

I prefer it carved relatively thick, not steak thick but up to a centimetre is good.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Meganthemog » August 2nd, 2017, 3:26 pm

When we were young the Sunday roast was always sliced thinly, this way there was enough for Monday and Tuesday :lol: I think that because meat is cheaper by comparison to then we tend to cut it thicker. I like the brown meat in chicken so tend to joint it rather than carve it, lamb pork and beef I like fairly thinly sliced unless it is belly of pork in which case I like a thicker slice so that the ratio of meat to fat is right.
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby FoodMary » August 11th, 2017, 8:21 pm

I guess it all boils down to preference. Growing up I can remember my Pa always carving and he dealt differently with different cuts and types of meat.

I remember that the roast beef was carved thin and was quite rare - rolled and stuffed pork was much thicker but we were only served with one slice each and lamb was middleing and pink in the middle. With chicken the breast was served reasonably thin and the drumsticks and thighs were separated and went to the adults.

I mostly suit myself how thick or thin it is now although beef is still a bit too expensive for me. Lulu doesn't care how it is carved!!!

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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby earthmaiden » August 12th, 2017, 8:20 am

Sounds about right Mary! As you have moved in select circles i trust your judgement :).
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Re: Preferred Thickness of Carved Meat

Postby Ratatouille » August 14th, 2017, 9:39 am

WE had a pork roast last night, lovely local meat. GS offered to carve and he did it perfectly. We have always believed that children should be given the corrct equipment to d under supervision and not toys to pretend.
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